August 10, 2016, Valenzuela City – Upon Mayor REX Gatchalian’s eloquent presentation of the 3S Plus program to the palace’s cabinet members from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), he receives an outright invitation to draft the next memorandum circular that will harmonize the Anti-Red Tape Act (ARTA) and the Fire Code of the Philippines.
In yesterday’s tripartite consultative meeting on streamlining and anti-graft and corruption platforms, DILG Secretary Ismael D. Sueno, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, and DTI Asst. Regional Dir. Juan Jovian Inginiero studied Valenzuela City’s award-winning 3S Plus in Public Service Program to enjoin all local government units to immediately comply with Pres. Rodrigo Duterte’s mandate of making governmental processes faster and less complex.
Pres. Duterte had been consistent in his speeches and television appearances that he abhors to see long queues in government offices that gravely inconvenience people.
It was the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through Project INVEST Chief of Party Ofelia Templo, which recommended Valenzuela City to DILG and DTI to be the country’s prototype in integrating technology in government systems, while at the same time proving that bureaucratic practices can definitely be overhauled through political will.
Valenzuela City’s chief executive’s presentation showcased the present projects under the 3S Plus in Public Service Program: (1) a streamlined business permitting process; (2) cost-effective use of a Geographical Information System (GIS) for real property assessment; (3) complete online and electronic payment systems; (4) automated building and construction permits application system; (5) availability of online business permit billing and payment system; (6) effectiveness of e-Cedula; (7) convenience in the use of ValenzuelaTrabaho, a job-matching web site; (8) practical shift to the online police clearance application system, the first of its kind in the country; (9) extended use of GIS for Business Permits; and (10) the construction of 3S (Sentro ng Sama-samang Serbisyo) Centers or the “little city halls” built across the city to bring government services closer to the people.
Clarification question on the capacity of the Bureau of Fire (BFP) to conduct inspections was raised during the discussion. DILG Suena expressed that engineers are the more qualified professionals to conduct fire safety inspection. A recommendation to remove the inspection function from the BFP and channel it to appropriate professionals was pondered on, in view of the basic rationale that the agency should be concentrating on firefighting instead of inspection.
The cabinet secretaries were toured at the City Hall Finance Building after the consultation meeting.